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Homebuyer tax credit off the radar

GAO puts bill for program at $22 billion through 2019

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There's no serious talk of reinstating the homebuyer tax credit, the White House and real estate industry trade groups say, quashing speculation that followed statements Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan made on a Sunday morning news show.Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on Aug. 29, Donovan said July's housing sales numbers were worse than expected. The Obama administration was rolling out a new FHA refinancing program targeted at underwater borrowers, he said, and an emergency loan program aimed at helping unemployed borrowers keep their homes.Pressed by host Ed Henry on whether the administration was also considering reviving the homebuyer tax credit "to try to prop this industry up," Donovan said, "I think it's too early to say after one month of numbers whether the tax credit will be revived or not. All I can tell you is that we are watching very carefully."In extending the tax credit for a third time last fall, lawmakers warned that they would no...